The Reason We Work So Hard
Perhaps the reason we work so hard is
                    the same reason the beaver
                                        must always keep gnawing down trees,
Otherwise its teeth which never stop growing
                    curve back into its jaws
                                        so it can’t eat
                    and dies in agony,
Except what keeps growing in us is not
                    our teeth, but
                    our knowledge of death —
                                        our own and everyone we love —
                    which keeps gnawing at us,
And like ants, bees, termites
                    who can’t help themselves
                                        and are forever busy,
So we, too, are caught, caught
                    in a desperate work routine
                                        from which there is no escape.
We can’t help ourselves,
                    although poets try,
Although composers, dancers, actors,
                    photographers, potters, painters,
                                        sculptors, singers, musicians try,
                    although saviors and bodhisattvas try,
                                        although beautiful cocks, tits, cunts,
                                                            buttocks try. . . .